Crime and Court Roundup: Justice Department takes the lead in 20-year murder caseWisconsin News
-- The state Justice Department has taken over the investigation into the abduction-and-murder of 20-year-old Laurie Depies in the Fox Valley two decades ago.
The state Justice Department has taken over the investigation into the abduction-and-murder of 20-year-old Laurie Depies in the Fox Valley two decades ago. Town of Menasha police lieutenant Mike Krueger handled the case the entire time. But he retired last week. And after checking thousands-of-leads and traveling to investigate suspects, officials say Krueger was disappointed he couldn’t make an arrest. Town Police Chief Rod McCants said the Justice Department has been involved with the Depies case for years. He says it makes more sense for the state to handle the case because quote, “they have more resources than we do.” The 20-year-old Depies vanished from the parking lot of an apartment building on August 19th of 1992. For now, the main suspect in Larry Hall, who’s serving a life prison sentence in North Carolina. He has admitted kidnapping Depies and 38 other women from 1980-through-’94, but he only convicted in one death – that of a 15-year-old Illinois girl in 1993. Town of Menasha Police have wanted to bring Krueger to Wisconsin, in the hopes that he could lead them to Depies’ remains. But a series of federal-and-state approvals are required – and prosecutors say more physical evidence is needed to get Hall to leave prison. His confession resulted in an extensive search for Depies’ body last year – but officers couldn’t find anything, despite the use of underground radar.
A northeast Wisconsin man is under arrest for causing a head-on crash that killed a three-year-old Michigan boy and injured three of his family members. Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said a 28-year-old Wausaukee man was taken to jail on possible charges of causing death and injury by drunk driving. The crash happened late Friday night on Highway 141 in the town of Middle Inlet. Investigators said the suspect’s pick-up truck slammed into a car. Three-year-old Christopher Croley of Ishpeming Michigan was killed. His 44-year-old mother Jodi Betts Croley was seriously hurt, as well as the boy’s two sisters ages 16-and-17. They were all taken to a Green Bay hospital, and Christopher died on the way there. The pick-up driver escaped injury, and he was alone in his vehicle.
Milwaukee commuters are seeing billboards this morning that call for justice in the death of Derek Williams, the robbery suspect who died in police custody. Michael Bell of Kenosha lost his son after he was killed by police – and Bell’s been using his one-and-three-quarter million dollar legal settlement to buy billboard space in cities where officers kill suspects. At a news conference last night, Bell said he bought 43 digital billboards which say quote, “When police kill, where is the mayor?” Jesse Jackson’s PUSH coalition and Milwaukee religious groups have called on Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to intervene in the Williams case. An inquest will take place to determine whether the officers involved in Williams’ death should be charged – but Bell says police almost always get off the hook. A recently-released video shows that Williams was ignored for almost eight minutes as he gasped, begged for help, and collapsed. Friends and relatives joined Bell at his news conference, along with those concerned about the way police kept Darius Simmons’ mother away after he was shot in May. Bell said last night that those people have no voice but quote, “tomorrow, they will” with his billboards.